The first time the Maryland Terrapins faced the Penn Quakers in women's lacrosse this season the game, played on a damp and cold evening in Philadelphia in March, ended in a 15-5 Terrapins rout. The rematch came on a warm, sunny, Mother's Day in College Park. In a game with somewhat higher stakes - a trip to the NCAA quarterfinals was on the line - the Terps prevailed once again this time by a 13-5 margin.
March to May yields a different start
Beth Glaros picked up the opening draw for the Terps but an aggressive Quakers defense forced a Maryland turnover. Though the Terps forced a turnover of their own, freshman Zoe Stukenberg forced her shot and Penn goalie Lucy Ferguson made the easy save. Unlike the game at Penn when Maryland jumped out to a 4-0 lead, it was the Quakers who scored first on Sunday. Penn isolated Lindsey Smith who scored on a low bouncer to put the Quakers on top early.
The Terps needed less than a minute to get the equalizer as Taylor Cummings controlled the draw and scored on a double move down the right alley. After the teams traded turnovers Terrapins' goalie Abbey Clipp came up with a save on a Penn free position that seemed to ignite Maryland's offense.
Maryland went on a scoring binge ringing up three goals in a 1:54 on game time. The run started with a dodge from behind the goal on the right side using a burst of speed to blow past her defender. Kelly McPartland followed with an attack from the left with a bouncer that squeezed through Ferguson's legs. Cummings controlled the draw and passed ahead to Beth Glaros. Ten seconds after McPartland's goal Glaros' low bouncer gave the Terps a 4-1 lead.
Keeping Penn in the game
Maryland won the draw but an unforced turnover by the Terps led to a Quakers' possession that lasted nearly eight minutes before Nina Corcoran found leading scorer Tory Benson in space from four yards for the easy score. The Terps tried the quick counter after Cummings controlled the ensuing draw and passed quickly to McPartland who had her shot deflected by the Quakers' defense.
Penn took advantage surprising Maryland with a quick attack on the goal. Nina Corcoran made the dodge down the right alley, beat her defender and brought the Quakers within one at 4-3. However, the Terps responded with two straight to extend the lead back to three.
The first came when Lamon, triggering from behind, found Brooke Griffin cutting in front of the net. Griffin scored her second straight on a pass from Zoe Stukenberg after the freshman drew a free position chance and passed to her teammate who had a better angle.
Two to one again
Another quick Maryland shot that Ferguson saved led to an opportunity for Penn and again the Quakers capitalized. Again it was leading scorer Benson who beat her defender one on one to close the gap to 6-4.
Before the half ended the Terps would ring up two more goals. Beth Glaros picked up her second of the day bouncing a free position past Ferguson. With thirty-three seconds to play in the half another strong dodge by Cummings doubled up the the Quakers and Maryland took an 8-4 lead into the break.
The second half
Maryland started the second half precisely they way they wanted. A Quakers' foul on the opening draw let Glaros take a pass from Cummings and race behind Penn's defense and put Maryland up 9-4 just twenty one seconds into the half Registering the Terps' second hat trick of the day. After a long stretch of missed shots and turnovers, Penn got back within four with Benson chalking up a hat trick of her own.
Continuing the theme of two to one Taylor Cummings picked up her hat trick scoring a typical Cummings goal just using her size, strength, and skill to find space and score to put the Terps into double figures and a 10-5 lead.
Breaking the pattern
As the rust wore off and Maryland's superior athleticism asserted itself beginning with Kelly McPartland. She began her attack from near the thirty meter mark simply running past her defender to ring up her second of the game. With the game well in hand, the Terps began to slow things down at times looking at times more like Northwestern than Maryland.
Still, Maryland managed to put up two more goals before running out the clock. Jen Mendez picked up her first of the game scooping in a rebound off McPartland's saved free position. The junior made up for that unexpected misstep with another sprint joining Cummings and Glaros as the third Terrapin with a hat trick. From there it was simply a matter of milking the clock to complete the 13-5 win.
Gotta mention the defense
These are names you don't hear about often: Maegan Douty, Alice Mercer, Casey Pepperman, Nadine Hadnagy, and Shanna Brady. Maryland's defense held Penn to four shots and one goal in the second half. Penn's seven turnovers in the second half outstripped their goals for the game. Penn is not a potent offensive team but the collective effort of the defense simply smothered any hopes the Quakers had of coming back.
And the draws
While she tried to deflect the credit to her teammates, in the Terps 17-3 edge in draw controls, the circle belonged to Taylor Cummings. The sophomore had 10 on her own. In a game where the Terps showed a bit of rust from having had two weeks off with an uncharacteristic eleven turnovers, and against an opponent that generally looked for long possessions, controlling the draw was one more key to Maryland's win.
On Saturday, Duke will come to the Field Hockey and Lacrosse Complex with a trip to the Final Four on the line. The Blue Devils won 10-8 at Notre Dame to earn the right to come to College Park. In their regular season match-up, the Terps rolled to a 19-10 win over the Blue Devils in Durham.